James Ibori pleads guilty

Discussion in 'News & Sports' started by Sola, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Sola

    Sola Administrator Staff Member

    From BBC

    James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, has pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

    British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years.

    The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".

    Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

    Some $35m of his alleged UK assets were frozen in 2007.

    As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.

    The BBC's Chris Summers says between 20 and 30 of Mr Ibori's supporters turned up to court - some wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Free Ibori". There was not enough room for them all in the public gallery.

    Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record.

    "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

    He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

  2. obiora

    obiora Oforkansi

    As usual, he got a plea bargain and may end up paying fines(about 0.0001% of his loot) with little community service. It is always deserving to steal big from the Nigerian government.Stealing few coins from the government will get you locked up for life.
  3. Buda Atum

    Buda Atum Master Group

    Don't worry, if he does not have the right to stay, we would deport him half way through his sentence to spend the rest of it in his country.
  4. Nozza

    Nozza A.L.F.

    Last time I heard his UK stuff was being confiscated and the proceeds given to the ''people of Delta State''

    Knowing how the Nigerian Factor works, the money will simply be waiting until his inglorious and celebrated return to Nigeria.

    What the Nigerian judicial system with its 100+ count charge against him would not do, the UK judicial system did.
  5. Buda Atum

    Buda Atum Master Group

    I don't thinmk the money would be waiting for him! Damn, better thieves would have stolen it before he returns, if nothing else. And I don't remember Nigerian govt getting their hands on him; did they?
  6. obiora

    obiora Oforkansi

    One way or the other, the British flexed their muscle because they want to snatch the portion of his loot that is in UK and not because they have genuine empathy for our yeye selves.
  7. obiora

    obiora Oforkansi

    Na you go thief am?. Alameseighaaaa went through the same ordeal and came back home a rich king. As a matter of fact, he is a presidential adviser now.
  8. Buda Atum

    Buda Atum Master Group

    Damn! I thought Nigerians were better than that.
  9. Nozza

    Nozza A.L.F.

    I think it was either late 2009 or 2010, in Nigeria there was a 170 charge brought against him and the case was dismissed.

    Obiora is right; if the money is returned to Delta State others will pocket it for sure.

    But the standards in politics in Nigeria are pretty low - Bode George was celebrated when he left jail, thanksgiving church service inclusive. So what happened with Alameseigha shouldn't come as a surprise. One forgives and conveniently forgets so one can thief again.
  10. obiora

    obiora Oforkansi

    Who is Ibori?

    MARCH 10, 2012 - 11:07AM | BY TONI KAN
    I was reading news stories on my laptop when Chuka, my 7-year-old son, came to join me in my study.
    It was a story about the ongoing travails of former Delta State Governor James Ibori.
    These days, whenever my wife and daughter, Awele, are watching some girly stuff on E! or on one of the channels they prefer, Chuka would seek me out in the study. He would stand behind me and read whatever it is I am reading or writing; while peppering me with questions.
    “Daddy, what is the meaning of intransigent?” he asked once, about a month ago and by the time I finished explaining to him, I had lost my train of thoughts and had to discontinue writing that book review.
    And this is what happens most of the times. Chuka ambles in, stands behind me for a heartbeat and then the questions burst forth as if from a broken dam.
    And I always take time to explain patiently because my son believes that he and I are ‘men’ who should find time to be together and discuss serious stuff (even though this usually occurs to him when Awele is (a) doing something exclusively female with their mother or (b) with a visiting friend and ‘gisting’ about stuff that a boy should not be privy to.
    Secondly, he doesn’t talk much except to make some pithy sage-like comment especially when his sister voices out some not well articulated thought. So, when Chuka is ready to talk, I make the effort to be available.
    But lastly, the reason why I listen to him is that sometimes, when you speak to children, they bring a fresh albeit childlike perspective to issues, which has a way of clarifying things.
    Which is what this column will try to do; aside from chronicling the daily hustle that is parenting, I will use my children and their friend’s point of view to look at the thorny issues of the day because being innocent as they are, they do not come to issues with blinkers induced by race or tribe or sentiments. They say it as it is.
    So, that day, after standing behind me for a while, the boy said “Daddy?” which is usually a coded question, as in “hey, can I say something.”
    “Mr. Man, what do you want,” I asked nuzzling his ears.
    “Oh, stop,” he cried pulling away.
    When he was a kid, he didn’t like being hugged or kissed or held tight, but with age he is beginning to come round but on his own terms.
    “Who is Ibori?” He asked.
    “He was a former governor?”
    “Why is he in court?”
    “He stole money belonging to the state?”
    “$250m” he read out and I nodded.
    “Yes, that what they said in London.”
    Chuka was quiet for a bit then he asked; ““Did he steal the money in London?”
    “No. He stole from Delta State in Nigeria. That’s the state grandpa is from,” I said because for some reason they believe we are from Lagos State. So, when we talk of Ibusa, where we hail from, we call it grandpa’s town.
    He was quiet again before he said, “If he didn’t steal in London why is he in court in London? Is it their money?”
    It was now my turn to be quiet as I tried to find the best answer.
    “See, he stole the money here and then he went to keep it in London and white people don’t like that at all.”
    “But still it is not their money. Why didn’t the people in grandpa’s state ‘under arrest’ him?”
    ‘Under arrest’ him is Chuka and Awele’s way of saying someone has been arrested. It comes from watching movies where police men say to criminals, ‘put your hands up, you are under arrest.’
    “Arrest him,” I corrected and he repeated it.
    “Well,” I began, fishing for the right words to describe the rot in our judiciary and how a judge in Delta State could set Ibori free despite the mountains of evidence against him or the fact that his wife and mistress and sister had already been jailed for aiding and abetting him.
    “The court in London is more serious than our own,” I managed to say.
    Chuka took some time to digest that and then after he had read a bit more he said “They say they will put him behind bars.”
    I nodded, and then he said something that made me look up sharply.
    “That means he will be like the baboon we saw at the Unilag zoo. And they will write ‘Do not touch or feed’ and he will be going around from bar to bar.”
    “Come here, my son,” I said pulling him into an embrace as the image of Ibori behind bars and prancing about like a baboon loomed ahead of me.
    Out of the mouth of babes!

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